Woo hoo! It’s couch character Thursday. That sounds like a cocktail special, doesn’t it?
Today I’m excited to welcome Nancee Cain and her characters Evangeline and Remiel. Here’s the blurb for their story:
Evangeline is the town pariah. Everyone knows she’s crazy and was responsible for the death of her last boyfriend. Even her mother left her and moved cross-country. Lonely and desperate, Evie decides to end her life.
Rogue angel Remiel longs to return to earth, but there’s just one problem. He tends to invite trouble and hasn’t been allowed back since Woodstock. The Boss sends him to save Evangeline, but there’s a catch: he can’t reveal his angelic nature, and he must complete the task as Father Remiel Blackson.
Forced together on a cross-country trip, a forbidden romance ignites and love unfolds. A host of heavenly messengers tries to intervene, but Remiel and Evangeline are headed on a collision course to disaster. Will his love save her, or will they both be lost forever?
Saving Evangeline was just released on Tuesday. Woo hoo! Congratulations to Nancee and welcome to all, er, three of you.
1. If your characters were to go to a psychologist – willingly or unwillingly – what would bring them in? Yes, a court order is a valid answer.
NANCEE: Hello, thank you for seeing us. I hope this session will be beneficial for my star-crossed lovers. I’ve brought them with me.
Evangeline throws herself on the couch, shrugging out of Remiel’s grasp, crossing her arms in front of her chest, glaring.
REMIEL: wearing his clericals, grins and holds out his hand: What’s up, Doc?
Evangeline: Oh, that’s original. How many times a day do you think she hears that one?
REMIEL: I’m here willingly—
Evangeline: Speak for yourself.
REMIEL: We’re here to explore Evie’s idiotic, selfish ideas about suicide. So, the way I see this going down, we can kind of tag team her. You give her the official medical mumbo jumbo, and then I’ll throw in a little spirituality about the sanctity of life. I have to tow the company line. *runs a finger around his collar and glances toward the ceiling*
Evangeline: I’ve seen and talked to therapists since I was in grade school. Been there, done that, got the stupid t-shirt. I’m just here because they insisted I come, otherwise, you’d have to court order my ass.
2. Is the presenting problem one of the main internal or external conflicts in your book? If so, how does it present itself?
NANCEE: I’d say—
REMIEL: Exernal. Crazy Girl here wants to off herself. It’s my job to save her. Cut and dry.
EVANGELINE: Would you please tell him that calling me crazy might not be in the best interest of my mental health?
REMIEL: Just keepin’ it real, sweetness. It’s called reality therapy, right, Doc?
EVANGELINE: Well I disagree, I think there are underlying internal issues. I’m not the only one unhappy with my current situation…
*Nancee and Evangeline both give Remiel a pointed look*
REMIEL: Next question, please.
NANCEE: May I add—
EVANGELINE and REMIEL: No!
Cecilia: LOL, I love how feisty they are.
3. It’s always interesting to see how people act when they first enter my office. Do they immediately go for my chair, hesitate before sitting anywhere, flop on the couch, etc.? What would your character do?
EVANGELINE: If I’d been court ordered to come alone, I would’ve wandered around the room, getting my bearings and remain standing, ready to leave at any moment.
REMIEL: I’d act no differently alone. What you see is, what you get. Do you have an ashtray? *takes out a cigarette*
EVANGELINE: Ha! What you see is not what you get where you’re concerned…
NANCEE: Put that cigarette away, you can’t smoke in here.
4. Do your characters talk to the therapist? How open/revealing will your character be?
EVANGELINE:: Not if I can help it. Or, I might tell you what I think you want to hear. No one ever believes me anyway.
REMIEL: No one?
EVANGELINE: *smiles* Well, except Remi. He does listen to me; I’ll give him that. *takes his hand in hers*
REMIEL: I, uh, can’t say much about myself. I’m bound by certain constraints from the Boss. If you think HIPPA is bad, you should see His rules…
Nancee nods in agreement.
5. Your character walks into the bar down the street after his/her first therapy session. What does he/she order? What happens next?
EVANGELINE: I’ll order whatever someone is buying. I may or may not go home with the buyer, depends on my mood.
REMIEL: *frowns and flames flicker in his pupils* No one else is ordering you anything, and I’m certainly not going to just stand there and watch you leave with some loser who doesn’t appreciate you…
EVANGELINE:: *Grins* I love to crank his tractor.
REMIEL: Don’t do that to me. I need a cigarette. And a beer. Let’s go find that bar.
6. When you’re building characters, do you have any tricks you use to really get into their psyches, like a character interview or personality system (e.g., Myers-Briggs types)?
NANCEE: I do like Myers-Briggs, but don’t adhere 100% to it. Evangeline and Remiel made it plain they were going to become involved, no matter the consequences. Music is key for me getting into their psyche. I have a playlist and I plot best when driving. I listen to the playlist over and over. Sometimes one line from a song can influence an entire chapter. However, when I write, it has to be silent.
REMIEL: What the heck are you talking about? Tell her about my playlist. I made it special, just for Evie.
NANCEE: Remiel, please don’t get her started…
EVANGELINE: Jerk. He has an entire playlist he listens to all the time. Every song has the word crazy in it. She was talking about that test Nancee had us take; you know, the one with all those stupid questions. You were an ENFP, The Inspirer.
REMIEL: What does that stand for?
NANCEE: Extrovert, Intuitive, Feelings and Perceiving
EVANGELINE: *snickering* I think it should stand for Evie’s Naughty F’n Priest
REMIEL: *grins and waggles his eyebrows * That sounds about right. Which one were you?
EVANGELINE: ISFP, The Artist. Introvert, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving. It basically means I’m intense and a loner, you’re idealistic and an over the top. Not the perfect match, but… *shrugs*
REMIEL: *smiles and kisses her hand* I think yours should be Insatiable, Sweet, Freaky, Pervert, just my kind of girl. I don’t care what those tests say; you’re perfect for me. We’re a match made in heaven, Crazy Girl.
EVANGELINE: *face softens before standing abruptly, tugging on Remiel’s hand* Yeah, I think we are, too. Let’s get out of here. I’m tired of true confessions.
REMIEL: Yeah, I need a smoke.
NANCEE: I’m sorry. Thank you for trying. I’m afraid those two are headstrong and determined to do things their own way, no matter what.
Cecilia: No worries. They were quite entertaining, and I can’t wait to read the book. Thank you so much for bringing them by!
During the day, Nancee works as a nurse in the field of addiction to support her coffee and reading habit. Nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. Authors are her rock stars, and she’s been known to stalk a few for an autograph, but not in a scary, Stephen King way. Her husband swears her To-Be-Read list on her e-reader qualifies her as a certifiable book hoarder. Always looking to try something new, she dreams of being an extra in a Bollywood film, or a tattoo artist. (Her lack of rhythm and artistic ability may put a damper on both of these dreams.) Her ultimate book hero will always be Atticus Finch.
You can find her at the following links: